Two weeks into the NFL season, and your team is 0-2.
Instead of going to Tampa Bay to be in the same city as the Super Bowl, you’re coming to Las Vegas to watch whichever teams are in the game and whooping it up while wondering what could have been.
Ah, what the NFL does to fans.
Carolina, Atlanta, Minnesota, Detroit, Philadelphia, the New York Giants, Cincinnati, Denver, Houston, the New York Jets and Miami are winless after the first two weeks of the season. Don’t fret, and certainly don’t burn your jerseys. There is hope.
Since Super Bowl I, three teams that opened the season 0-2 have hoisted the Lombardi Trophy: the 2007 New York Giants, the 2001 New England Patriots and 1993 Dallas Cowboys. There have been 15 teams that started out 1-1 and 33 teams that opened their campaigns 2-0 that all won the Super Bowl. The other four, if you’re keeping count, were caught up in a tie and we don’t have that problem this year so I’m not going to address it.
Let’s throw out the Lions, Jets and Dolphins — they’re not winning the Super Bowl and I’m not addressing them either. That leaves us with eight teams trying to get their first win in Week 3, and make note the Bengals visit Philly, so one of those two teams will get off the schneid.
Statistically speaking, the Falcons have the fourth-best offense in the league with 443 yards per game, and rank fifth in the league with 32.0 points per contest. On the other side of the ball, the Giants have the fourth-stingiest defense that has allowed 326.5 yards per game, while Denver has allowed the lowest points-against among winless teams, ranking 10th in the league, at 21.0. Problem is, we’re talking about statistically strong teams that can’t find a way to win.
After those last five mentioned, it leaves me with the Panthers, Vikings and Texans. Scrap Carolina and Minnesota.
That leaves me with Houston, a team I can see making a run into the postseason. The Texans have the components on both sides of the ball, led by Deshaun Watson on offense and J.J. Watt on defense. They have winnable games on deck, at Pittsburgh this week before hosting Minnesota and Jacksonville. Looking down their schedule, the Texans are capable of winning 11 of their last 14.
It’s a new week.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) September 21, 2020
By the way, only six teams during the Super Bowl era have made the playoffs after losing their first three games — five of which lost in the wild-card round, including the 2018 Texans.
Nevertheless, if you’re a fan of one those 11 teams sitting at 0-2, and they lose this week, book your flight to Vegas. You’re more than welcome to watch the Super Bowl here.
Now, before I get kicked out of Vegas, let’s improve upon last week’s 3-3 showing:
Dolphins at Jaguars -3: Gardner Minshew is one of three quarterbacks with a passer rating of 115 or higher (115.7) and a completion percentage of at least 75 percent (75.4) through the first two weeks of the season (minimum 20 attempts). JAGUARS
Rams at Bills -2.5: Buffalo is one of the most balanced teams in football through two weeks. The Bills have the third-best offense in the NFL with 464 yards per game, and rank fifth in allowing 332 yards per game. BILLS
49ers at Giants +4: San Francisco throttled the Jets last week. Then they made their way to The Greenbrier in West Virginia to holdover this week before facing the Giants. I’m a little perplexed by this number, as I thought it would have been bigger. Look for the G-men to figure it out on offense this week. GIANTS
Jets at Colts -10.5: The Fly Boys have the worst offense in football when it comes to yards per game (265.5), and second worst in points per game (15.0). They are not going into Indianapolis and matching drives. Someone should post a prop on Jets punts vs. Colts scoring drives. COLTS
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Lions at Cardinals -6: Last week I gave you the Packers over Detroit, and this week it’ll be Arizona. While everyone is marveling over the Las Vegas Raiders being 2-0, how about these Cardinals? The Lions have the sixth-worst point differential in football. CARDINALS
Packers at Saints Total 51.5: New Orleans is going to be on a rampage in their second straight primetime game, after losing at Las Vegas on Monday. And the same way I told you the Raiders and Saints would go over, I believe Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees will put on a show. OVER
Last Week: 3-3